Alan R. Novak (1934–2018)

U.S. Commission of Fine Arts

Alan R. Novak (far left) shown in 1984 with fellow Commission members at the CFA’s former offices at 708 Jackson Place on Lafayette Square. Left to right: Alan R. Novak, Sondra G. Myers, Edward D. Stone Jr., Chairman J. Carter Brown, John S. Chase Jr, and Walter A. Netsch.

The U.S. Commission of Fine Arts is saddened to note the passing of former member Alan R. Novak. An attorney and businessman, he served on the Commission from 1981 to 1985. Novak was born in New York City and educated at Yale and Oxford, and was a clerk to Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart and an attorney in private practice before entering government service as an aide to Sen. Edward M. Kennedy. He was an integral member of the Commission during negotiations leading to the selection of Maya Lin’s design for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, which was completed in 1982. His long career in real estate and venture capitalism saw the development of both luxury and affordable housing projects, including the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in the West End and the Parkside mixed-use development in Northeast Washington. He was also a noted collector of 19th-century paintings. Read more about Alan Novak.